Get Ready For Duke

Duke Blue Devils Men's College Basketball Seth Curry

Get Ready For Duke

It is not unusual for just about every Duke game to be available to a national audience. This year even three of the Blue Devils games on their August trip to China were on ESPNU. The difference with this year’s slate of Duke games is the quality level of competition. The Blue Devils will play a few tough teams every year in non-conference play, but the 2011-2012 schedule is littered with quality opposition. That means we may not have to watch a bunch of Blue Devil blowouts this season…although this group could still blow out some quality teams.

It starts on the opening day of the season, November 11th, against a very, very good Belmont team. The Bruins are already garnering plenty of attention as a mid-major team that can win a game in March. Belmont may not be able to match Duke’s talent, but the Bruins are a very experienced squad who will not need any time to get in the flow of the 2011-2012 campaign. That is a dangerous game for a Duke squad breaking in a new point guard. Before heading off to Hawaii, Duke will face Presbyterian and Davidson at home and Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. The Spartans have some talent, but they will be playing better in March then they will be in November.

The EA Sports Maui Invitational is, as usual, a loaded tournament. The Blue Devils start with Tennessee on November 21st and will then face either Michigan or Memphis. UCLA, Georgetown and Kansas are on the other side of the bracket. Whatever happens, Duke will be playing three good teams.

After the trip to Maui, Duke does not get a vacation. They travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and head back to New York to play against Washington. Coach K and company will have a little easier time during December and January in Durham where they host Colorado State, UNC Greensboro, Western Michigan and Pennsylvania. Colorado State and Western Michigan are quality teams that will be aiming for conference titles, but Duke should not have too much trouble in those four games. The non-conference slate ends with what could be a huge game in Philadelphia against a Temple team that could be looking for a signature win.

In late January St. John’s will come to town to give Duke a break from the ACC, but by then we will have seen a lot of the Blue Devils and will know if this is a team that can pull together and make a serious run at national title.



Read the in-depth men’s basketball preview for this team